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San Francisco

Scoot Over, Parking: SFMTA Considers New Parking Regulations For Electric Mopeds

Companies like Uber and Bluegogo have come under heavy criticism for not  playing by the rules in San Francisco, but moped company Scoot is taking a different tack.

For over two years, the company has been in talks with city regulators on how to incorporate its fleet of 750 rentable electric scooters into the city's already congested parking grid.

New parking regulations for the shareable mopeds were presented before SFMTA’s Policy and Governance committee this past Friday, the Examiner reports. One of two competing proposals will be selected by SFMTA staff to go before the agency’s Board of Directors in June.

One proposal maintains how things are done today. When the mopeds are parked along what SFMTA refers to as “scraps of curb space” between driveways that are less than 8 feet wide, Scoot's vehicles are exempted from all residential parking permit (RPP) restrictions, including two-hour limits.

Electric mopeds are also able to park in spaces designated for motorcycles, but have to pay the parking meter. No SFMTA permit is required for scooter users to park on-street.

A second proposal, one drafted by Scoot itself, would see moped companies pay an annual permit fee of $235 per vehicle: over $175,000 a year for Scoot’s current fleet.

Photo: Sean Davis/Flickr

Scoot’s proposal would nix the “scrap curb” limit in RPP areas and would allow electric two-wheelers to park on the line between between metered car stalls without paying the meter (as it is now, riders can park here but they have to pay the meter). It would also grant permitted mopeds unlimited free parking at metered motorcycle spaces.

Additionally, the company’s proposal would allow it to expand across San Francisco, whereas the current proposal caps companies like Scoot to limited home areas.

If Scoot’s more permissive proposal is pushed forward by SFMTA, its business, which has more than 19,000 members, will likely double, says the company.

This would “open up parts of The City and make [Scoot] more convenient to use,” Eli Saddler, Scoot’s head of network operations, was quoted as saying. He also said that Scoot isn't aiming to fill parking spaces meant for cars with mopeds. “Nobody wants that,” he said. 

For Scoot, it's a matter of reforming the city’s parking regulations to make sure cars aren’t the only type of vehicle prioritized in SFMTA’s parking rule book. “Curb equity," Saddler called it.

How do you think electric moped parking should be managed in San Francisco? Tell us in the comments below.

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